If you have ever had questions about outer space and what’s there, you are not alone.
Apparently, the universe has its own questions.
The James Webb Space Telescope has discovered what looks like a giant red question mark in space, and scientists are trying to figure out just what is.
The team operating the telescope at the European Space Agency released an image this week providing the most detailed look yet at two actively forming young stars located about 1470 light-years from Earth in the Vela Constellation, according to National Geographic.
Just below the two stars, named Herbig-Haro 46/47, is an object that resembled a big question mark floating in the sky.
The object is possibly billions of light-years away, says Christopher Britt, an education and outreach scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Britt’s best guess is that the question mark is actually two galaxies merging, according to National Geographic.
“That’s something that’s seen fairly frequently, and it happens to galaxies many times over the course of their lives,” Britt said. “That includes our own galaxy, the Milky Way … [it] will merge with Andromeda in about four billion years or so.”
David Helfand, an astronomer at Columbia University, said the question mark seems to be two objects, the curve and the dot, but could be more made up of more objects that just happened to line up in the telescope’s view.
“The two distinct features could easily be merging galaxies in the background, with the upper part of the question mark being part of a larger galaxy getting tidally disrupted,” Matt Caplan, an assistant professor of physics at Illinois State University, told Space.com.
“Given the color of some of the other background galaxies, this doesn’t seem like the worst explanation. Despite how chaotic mergers are, double-lobed objects with curvy tails extending away from them are very typical.”